Events Calendar

Search for



David Rogers’ Big Bugs

May 16–September 27, 2015

Explore enormous insect sculptures created from fallen or found wood, cut saplings and branches, tree bark and other natural materials. Ten installations include an 18-foot tall praying mantis, a spider’s web that’s four yards wide, and a butterfly with a wingspan broader than average human height. Related family activities are scheduled every weekend.
Sponsored by: The Columbus Foundation, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council

Hotel Partners: Crowne Plaza Columbus Downtown,  The Lofts

Blooms & Butterflies

March 7–September 27, 2015

Experience the emergence of hundreds of colorful, exotic butterflies and watch them take flight in the Pacific Island Water Garden, a tropical haven filled with bright nectar blooms. Newly emerged butterflies are released during educational presentations every day at 1 and 3pm. Related family activities are scheduled throughout the season.

Sponsored by: Cardinal Health Foundation, Giant Eagle, Honda of America Mfg., Inc

Life on the Leaf Edge

May 16–September 27, 2015

New England based naturalist and artist Samuel Jaffe captures the art of survival of native caterpillars, pupae and moths through high detail photography. Displayed in the Conservatory’s Cardinal Health Gallery, each piece calls attention to the survival techniques and defensive adaptations of these remarkable and beautiful creatures. 

Meet Samuel Jaffe
The exhibiting artist will lead two family-friendly, interactive classes this fall. Learn more.

Bonsai Show

April 11–September 27, 2015

The Conservatory’s bonsai collection is showcased among a serene display of tropical plantings in the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse. Enjoy tropical and hardy bonsai and explore the history and technique of these horticultural works of art.

Bonsai Saturdays
Members of the Columbus Bonsai Society answer questions and demonstrate bonsai care.
Saturdays, 1–4pm

Fall Mum Display

September, 2015

A display of more than 3,000 mums in shades of yellow, pink, purple and white, seasonal plants and fall foliage fill the Conservatory's outdoor Sculpture Courtyard with color.

Support the 2015 Fall Mum Display.

Scary Plants

October 3–November 15, 2015

Imaginative, immersive horticulture displays transform the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse. An abandoned greenhouse,  an old cemetery, curious carnivorous plants, and more await in this botanical take on Halloween season.

Villafane Studios
One-of-a-kind pumpkin carvings of humorous, weird and wild characters, created by artists from the internationally exhibited Villafane Studios, are on display in the Cardinal Health Gallery. Ray Villafane, an Arizona-based artist, specializes in highly intricate, 3-D style pumpkin sculptures. Villafane is a regular competitor on the Food Network and was a recent finalist on Halloween Wars. Villafane Studios' creations will be placed in brine-filled tanks to preserve them for display. 

Watch the exhibit come to life as Ray Villafane and artists from Villafane Studios create their artwork on site. October 3 & 4, 10am–5pm, free with admission.

Merry & Bright

November 21, 2015–January 3, 2016

Feel the spirit of the season surrounded by hundreds of poinsettias and seasonal foliage. Enjoy delightful entries in the annual gingerbread competition, a Paul Busse model garden railway and an array of family activities.

Select evenings feature live entertainment and festive lighting throughout the Conservatory. The Conservatory is open until 9pm on November 25, 27–29, December 2, 9, 16, 18–23, 26–31 and January 1 & 2. 


January 9–March 6, 2016

Hundreds of colorful and delicate orchids provide respite from winter’s gray chill.  Enjoy an immersive, artistic exhibit in the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse and orchid displays throughout the Conservatory’s indoor gardens. 

In the Cardinal Health Gallery
Contemporary ceramic works of art inspired by the natural world are displayed in De La Naturaleza, a juried exhibit presented in partnership with the Central Ohio Clay Arts association. The Conservatory is seeking artists to submit their work. Learn more and apply here. 

Savage Gardens


Savage Gardens: The Real and Imaginary World of Carnivorous Plants is a rentable exhibition that was developed and designed by Conservatory staff. A multi-layered, multi-media exhibition, Savage Gardens tells the story of carnivorous plants and their astounding ability to adapt to inhospitable habitats.

Combining science, botany, art, humor, and hands-on activity, Savage Gardens reaches all ages with its rich components. Four monumental sculptures render viewers bug-sized, while interactive and interpretive elements educate and entertain.

The Conservatory has worked with the artists to ensure the portability of the large sculptures and other components. Learn more about detailed specifications and images of the components, as well as some of the media coverage that Savage Gardens received while on view at the Conservatory. 
Savage Gardens was developed and created by Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Tork, Inc. The work displayed is protected by copyright and any copying is strictly prohibited.

About Tork, Inc.
Tork is a team of experienced and versatile trained artists headed by owners Mark Lagergren and Tony Ball. Tork has been creating unique sculptural installations and functional works for commercial and individual clients for more than 10 years. Adept at working on both large-scale public installations and small detailed objects, we collaborate with architects, designers, and contractors to meet site specific goals. Our sculpture has been placed in a variety of environments including public parks, playgrounds, gardens, hospitals, museums, corporate interiors and exteriors, and restaurants. We specialize in metal and resin design, fabrication, sculpting, and casting in unique combinations of materials. Learn More